Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

The End of Fringe

Well, Fringe is over. So goes another sci-fi show on Fox.

I figured with the news about J.J. Abrams inheriting the new Star Wars, I should talk about this. Who am I kidding? It’s Fringe. I would talk about it anyway.

The 5th and final season of Fringe wasn’t so great. There. I said it. Compared to the rest of the series, the 5th season left something to be desired. This is a little ironic. I remember when Letters of Transit aired, the original Observer-controlled future episode in season 4, I wanted there to be a whole spinoff series based in that world. That’s exactly where they put season 5, but here’s the problem: I didn’t want Olivia and Peter and Walter involved.

Imagine SHIELD, the upcoming Joss Whedon show. It’s not going to be about the Avengers, it’s going to be about SHIELD, which means we have the opportunity of investing in new characters in a familiar world. It’s exciting and new, but tried in true. We get to take our existing frame of reference and apply it to new situations. Human brain function relies on pattern recognition, and this feeds that function. We know the patterns. Now, we bump up to a new pattern hierarchy.

Fringe put the Avengers in SHIELD. I wanted to see resistance fighters using Fringe events to strike back against the Observers. This didn’t really happen in season 5 until the last few episodes. And while it was wholly satisfying, it would have been more entertaining to see them using the knowledge established in the first four seasons on the next level.

I wanted to see Henry Ian Cusick as the lead rebel leader. He died.

I wanted to see an army of cortexiphan super humans, the normals who responded to treatment. Wasn’t this what the series was setting up? The closest we get to this payout is the second to last episode, where Olivia is dosed with cortexiphan again in order to jump universes. Shouldn’t they have thought of that sooner? Appealing to the other universe for help? Ah well. Why dwell on it?

Really, the best way to deal with the Observer invasion was a spinoff series, but that probably wasn’t possible. Maybe he did the best with what he had.

Abrams had a time limit, with a truncated episode order. But, the ending amounted to hitting the reset button. And this is why I don’t think Abrams should have Star Wars.

Abrams doesn’t do endings.

He’s amazing at beginnings, great at middles…not so much endings. And, if he (and the royal We) can’t let go of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, we’re not going to be satisfied with a new Star Wars movie.

He’s a fan of hitting reset buttons. This boils down to two things: don’t ask questions you never intend on answering, and don’t forget to deliver your promise of the premise.

In a perfect world, Abrams would have done the prequels, Lucas would have done the middle trilogy, and…who would I cast as the ending leader?

Joss Whedon. He knows how to write an ending. Look at Buffy. Look at Avengers. Man knows how to write an ending. Of course, Whedon would kill Chewie. Or some other beloved character. But you take the style with the style.

That’s my feelings on Fringe. Didn’t end so great. So, if you’re going to watch, stop with season 4 and you’ll be all right.

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